Do you think we can come back from the political ‘deficit of trust?’ 496



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There’s a crisis in the world of Australian politics right now. It has nothing to do with terrorism, asylum seekers or the economy. It has everything to do with trust, integrity and honesty. In the last week both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition have been questioned by the media on issues that are integral to the future of Australia, yet both have declined to answer. So today we want to know, do you think avoiding comment is smart, dumb or just plain wrong?

There are accusations around that Australian government officials paid a people-smuggling crew to turn back to Indonesia before entering Australian waters. When Prime Minister Tony Abbott was questioned on Sunday, he refused to confirm or deny the claim and instead went with his trademark avoidance phrase on asylum seeker issues, “There’s really only one thing to say here and that is that we have stopped the board”.

“That’s good for Australia, it’s good for Indonesia and it’s particularly good for all of those who want to see a better world”, he continued.

Just three days prior to this, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten refused to give comments about the royal commission into union corruption, of which he is being questioned about this week. He refused to say anything at all to the media and left it to his supporters to make comment. Frontbencher and fellow union official Richard Marles said, “There is absolutely nothing to hide here – far from that, there’s an awful lot for Bill Shorten to feel proud about”.

Both political leaders have chosen not to say anything, which in some cases is the best tactic – a past look at the Abbott gaffes is enough to suggest so – but when it’s issues that question the integrity of an individual and a government, do we have a right to expect an answer?

The issues for the two men are completely different but they do both question their integrity. As an Australian citizen, an Australian voter, I want to know the answers. I want to have a level of transparency and honesty from our leaders. But is this simply too much to ask for? Any brief history would suggest that it is too much to ask for. But it shouldn’t be.

When integrity is questioned, it would be nice to also have honesty and transparency. The media sadly works against us in that manner, twisting and placing quotes in the wrong context. But when politicians go silent, it doesn’t give us a very good sign. Are they guilty of wrongdoing and should their integrity actually be questioned? That’s the first thing that runs through my mind when they decline to comment and give an honest answer on something that is this serious.

In 2012 Malcolm Turnbull called for honesty and said that the lack of political honesty had led the country into a “deficit of trust” and I fear this has not improved since he made these claims.

So tell us, do you think open, honest and high integrity politics is something that Australia can one day have? Or will we forever be in a ‘deficit of trust’ and is there no going back? Share your thoughts in the comments below…

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  1. There has been a deficit of trust in most Politicians for a long time, our leaders only think to how their decisions will enhance their chance of re election they lie and lie until they convince themselves that what they are saying is true it is a sad state of affairs, this latest one of paying smugglers to turn back to me is a crime, is turning back the boats a humanitarium decision or just for political gain

  2. It’s too late we need a whole new ball game get rid of political correctness for a start

    9 REPLY
    • Well the answer to that is that we ALL stop worrying what everyone thinks and who will be offended and speak our minds. We were born free, but have been burdened and virtually silenced by the UN, governments who pander to minority groups who apparently get ‘offended’ over everything because it suits their agenda,
      We should call a spade a spade, and also relearn to use tact where necessary.

      1 REPLY
      • Well said Marie Gammon. You speak for me.

    • For gods sake let them do their job, so what if he paid the smugglers to take the boat back, better that than have them come here out of turn. I feel sorry for all those doing the right thing and having to wait to come here.

    • trouble Noelene is , your dealing with the worst Asian country in this zone Indonesia , if its found that we paid those trafficers money to take those boat people back ,then the Indonesians will most certainly start sending boats out by the dozens ,to get paid to take them back, its a profitable practice

    • No it could just stop them knowing that there’s a very good chance they will pay the smugglers & still end up where they come from

    • yes i can see what you mean Leslie Comino i suppose there are fors and against this practice ,,just lets hope it doesnt happen again and maybe the gov. wont do it again anyhow and it was a once of. ..but i also agree with Les Worlin it could also be a deterant.

  3. I don’t vote for either of the major parties any more. Labor knifed their own Prime Minister in his first term after we voted him in and now the LNP are acting like they no longer want a Democracy but they want absolute powers. Only leaves us the Indebendents, Greens and others to vote for or be fined for not voting.

    5 REPLY
    • In Australia we vote for a party not the prime minister. The party elects the Prime Minister.

    • Can you imagine what it would be like if we had 100 independent ministers sitting in Parliament or in the Senate.
      Over 200 different opinions and different ideas.
      There would never be any decisions made.
      Which one would be PM or treasurer or any ither major office holder.
      Really, think about it.

    • The Labour Party did have leadership problems, but they still run the parliament, and you knew what was going on and Julia Gillard worked with independents and got a lot through, a fact that LNP voters forgot when they entered the ballot box, they believed TA and the media, now we are all paying the price.

    • Gillard’s minority government successfully passed 561 bills through parliament with no government bill being defeated on the floor of the House of Reps. Thats actually a pretty impressive record for someone who just sucks up to and doesn’t work with people.

  4. It’s too late. We need strong men with strong andHONEST characters. There is not a single politician today that meets that criteria.

  5. I’ve never known a bunch of pricks that treat the Australian people like idiots , the same people that vote for them and I’m talking both sides here , they are voted in on promises and then change the goal posts once in , I e lost all faith in our politicians and their lies .

    6 REPLY
  6. We will never have an honest Parliament unless we get rid of lawyers and other smart arses and return to honest working class people

  7. Your comment about the media says it all.
    Sure there are questions our politicians should answer when it concerns our lives but there are also questions they should not answer because of the security of our nation and people smuggling is just on such question.
    What ever they do say is always twisted by the media to suit their own ratings, and agendas. So do you really blame the politicians for not answering questions put to them by the media.
    What we need is a media that reports the truth and maybe then we can have a little more respect for our politicians.
    It’s difficult to take the media seriously when they prefer to trust so called reports coming from other countries and not the truth coming from within Australia.

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